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Comparing intrarift and border fault structure in the Malawi Rift: Implications for normal fault growth

Carpenter, Manon, Williams, Jack N. ORCID:, Fagereng, Åke ORCID:, Wedmore, Luke N.J., Biggs, Juliet, Mphepo, Felix, Mdala, Hassan, Dulanya, Zuze and Manda, Blackwell 2022. Comparing intrarift and border fault structure in the Malawi Rift: Implications for normal fault growth. Journal of Structural Geology 165 , 104761. 10.1016/j.jsg.2022.104761

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Early stages of normal fault growth are seldom described using field observations of active normal faults. Here we first estimate the displacements of active border and intrarift faults in the Zomba Graben in the low extension (< 10 %) Malawi Rift, and then quantify micro-to macroscale fault damage and mineralisation associated with their surface exposures. The 22 km long Mlunguzi and 39 km long Chingale Step intrarift faults have fault zones 4–52 m wide. In contrast, we estimate the fault zone of the 51 km long Zomba border fault is 32–118 m wide. Calcite and clay alteration is limited to the fault damage zones and fault cores, and the extent and intensity of fault damage and mineral alteration is greater on the Zomba border fault compared to the intrarift faults. Relative to global compilations, normal faults in the Zomba Graben have lengthened quickly while developing narrow fault zones, given their displacement. The minor damage on these long, low-displacement normal faults may reflect the influence of lithology, negligible fault healing, and/or activation of pre-existing weaknesses.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0191-8141
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 15 November 2022
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 11:24

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